I2U2 Business Coalition Takes Conversation to Israel


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The I2U2 Business Coalition convened senior government officials and business executives on Sunday, May 21st in Herzliya, Israel for a discussion about private sector involvement in the I2U2 Initiative. This quadrilateral government initiative was established last year to bring together India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States to collaborate on new projects and joint investments in key areas. The UAE-India Business Council, UAE-Israel Business Council, and U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council have formed the I2U2 Business Coalition to help facilitate greater business and investment opportunity in the I2U2 Initiative.

Sunday’s conversation centered on energy, which is a particular focus of the Coalition’s efforts in advance of the U.A.E. hosting COP28 in November of this year. Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, co-Founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council, Ron Malka, former Israeli Ambassador to India, and Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, made brief introductory remarks in which they described the importance and the focus of COP28 in the U.A.E. and highlighted opportunities for business as part of the I2U2 Initiative. In addition to describing the way in which business might get involved in COP28, Mr. Sebright also discussed the significance of the recently implemented U.A.E.-India and U.A.E.-Israel CEPAs/Free Trade Agreements.
From L to R: Danny Sebright, President, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, Rajiv Bodwade, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India in Israel; Ron Malka, Former Israeli Ambassador to India; Stephanie Hallett, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Israel; Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Co-Founder, UAE-Israel Business Council; and Dorian Barak, Co-Founder, UAE-Israel Business Council
Stephanie Hallett, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Israel, and Rajiv Bodwade, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Israel, underlined the importance of the I2U2 Initiative and described ways that business could approach their governments for support and assistance. The Indian DCM prioritized key sectors and verticals for investment and project flow in India. Both DCMs applauded the I2U2 Business Coalition undertaken by the three business councils as a significant initiative that will facilitate greater business involvement.  

An Israeli industry panel consisting of speakers from Energiya, Fluence, GenCell, Phinergy, and Watergen described opportunities and challenges, noting how governments of all four countries could work to facilitate faster deal flow and sustainable projects.  The Business Councils announced that they will present potential projects from business and industry and help to facilitate business engagement with relevant governmental stakeholders in each of the four I2U2 member countries.
From L to R:  Steve Elbas, CEO, Watergen; Yaron Bar-Tal, General Manager, Fluence Israel; Yosef Abramowitz, CEO, Energiya; Rami Reshef, CEO, GenCell; and David Mayer, CEO, Phinergy
This is the second event hosted by the I2U2 Business Coalition since its launch in April 2023. The Coalition hosted its inaugural event last month in Washington, D.C. with Under Secretary of State Jose W. Fernandez, the U.S. champion of the I2U2 Initiative. A third event focused on Indian companies is in planning for the near future.

For more information about this event and other Business Council activities related to I2U2, please contact Amira Siddiqi at asiddiqi@usuaebusiness.org